Each spring semester since 2005, students in the Construction Technology-Building Construction program at Hudson Valley Community College have built walls for the Schenectady (NY) Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. The walls constructed in 2015 were for a Habitat house to be built at 1568 Carrie St.
“Approximately 18 students worked for nearly two months on the project, putting in their required lab hours, in addition to an extra three to four hours per week as each student could,” said Tim Dennis, professor of Civil, Construction, Mechanical and Industrial Technologies.
The students constructed the 12- x 8-foot interior and exterior walls working from drawings provided by Habitat for Humanity and erected the 52- x 26-foot structure in the construction lab. This process helped the students see how the house would come together and assured the walls fit correctly.
Curtis Lumber donated lumber and hardware for the project after the students determined what was needed. The work was overseen by Dennis, along with a housing manager from Schenectady Habitat. Both do a thorough inspection for quality and safety standards before the walls are shipped to the building site.
“This is a serious effort, one that will result in a real house that a family will call home. Our students know they aren’t just practicing. Walls must be plumb, sized accurately and have reinforced window and door openings. They must meet construction codes,” said Dennis.
Hudson Valley undertook its first Habitat project 10 years ago at the suggestion of an adjunct professor, who was active with the housing organization. The college also sponsors a Habitat for Humanity student club, whose members – some in construction programs and some in other programs – often volunteer at the organization’s construction sites.